Discussion

Can OU, FSU, Oregon avoid USC's fate?

Updated: September 19, 2012, 2:39 PM ET
By Travis Haney

It didn't take long for the national championship picture to change shape. USC isn't out of it -- it's September; no one this side of Colorado is -- but the Trojans' hopes took a significant hit Saturday at Stanford.

Lane Kiffin's team, primarily because of its star power on offense, was thought to be the lead contender in providing America with a champion outside of the SEC. Then it actually played someone. Hawaii and Syracuse revealed something about the Trojans, but Stanford exposed weaknesses -- like the O-line's inability to protect Matt Barkley -- that weren't even previously perceived.

Three of the title contenders who benefited the most from USC's Week 3 loss -- Oregon, Florida State and Oklahoma -- will face their first legitimate opponents in Week 4. Each plays a ranked team at home on Saturday. Where do they stand going in? Will they become the next USC, or will they advance?

Oregon Ducks (3-0)

Week 4 opponent: No. 22 Arizona Wildcats (3-0)

The Ducks put up 162 points in wins against Arkansas State, Fresno State and Tennessee Tech. That sort of production is what we've come to expect from the Ducks. However, even if some of it came during junk time, those opponents did score an average of 24.3 points against Oregon.

MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HEADLINES